I said some time back about promising to stop visiting former coal tips. That didn’t last long, perhaps I should accept the heritage around here. A grim legacy from the past couple of hundred years, the area we now stand in was decimated by industrial digging, tearing up the county with pockmarked areas of dirt and drudgery for coal. Now these areas have been re-claimed to woodland walks and trails. Today’s dog walk takes us to the old colliery that once stood here and is a now woody 115 hectare area of Silverhill Woods in the old coal mining village of Teversal.
Teversal was once owned by Lord Carnarvon. The 5th Earl of Carnarvon, George Herbert, financed the excavations that led to the discovery of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter in 1922. On entering Teversal village, there is a very distinct mosaic showing the boy Pharaoh’s death mask along with other icons symbolising the area. Teversal is also the home of that high class harlot Lady Constance (Connie) Chatterley romping with Mellors in that Victorian version of 50 Shades of Grey, DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, with Teversal Manor as Wragby Hall.
The Teversal Trails on the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire border encompass 4 miles of walking and cycling. The path in Silverhill Wood on the site of the former Silverhill colliery is one of the highest points in Nottinghamshire. The Silverhill summit of the man-made hill resting at 204m from the spoil tips of the coal mines, is crowned with a statue of ‘The Miner’ with a Davy lamp called ‘Testing For Gas.’ The statue shows a miner testing for methane gas known as firedamp, holding a flame safety lamp to test for the presence of explosive firedamp by observing the shape and color of the flame. The commemorative plaque on the plinth at the back lists the principal coal mines within Nottinghamshire that were in operation between 1819 and 2005. On the boulders surrounding the statue are waymarks showing landmarks and other points of interest. In the very near distance is the fine Elizabethan architecture of Hardwick Hall, called Chadwick Hall in Lady Chatterley’s Lover.